10 cool things to do in Phuket
By Jonathan Owen
Published 12th August 2022
Looking for cool things to do in Phuket? Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and is a favourite with tourists looking to explore the country. Thailand is legendary for its delicious food, stunning scenery and affordability, but don’t just flock to the same spots that all tourists do, why not step outside the box a little and discover some of the region’s hidden secrets? So before you hit the beachy haven of Phuket, take a look at our list of 10 things to do in Phuket that our expert travel team have put together packed with their insider tips and tricks. Let’s plan your adventure together:
Escape the hustle and bustle of the tourist side of Phuket, and relax in a luxury treehouse in the adult-only oasis of the Koh Yao Resort. Each of the treehouse villas can be accessed via a bridge over the trees and comes with a balcony and plunge pool for that added extra luxury. The rooms are packed full of amenities and are the perfect hideaway for a few days. The resort can be accessed via private boat transfer and is rated 4.5 out of 5 on trip advisor.
Thailand is filled with wonderful animals, but sadly some of them are exploited and taken advantage of. This is where Phuket Elephant Sanctuary comes in. The sanctuary takes in sick, injured and rescued elephants, and takes care of them. Visit the sanctuary to find out about their important work, as well as having the opportunity to meet and feed the elephants. There are opportunities to visit for the day or spend longer at the Sanctuary completing some volunteering work.
Also known as Lard Yai Market, the Sunday Walking Street market stretches over 300 metres and is packed full of food stalls and local crafts. You will find some great souvenirs to keep as a memento of your trip to Thailand and can barter with the local sellers for the best price. The market itself is open between 4pm and 9pm, every Sunday.
Discover the real Phuket rainforest while travelling at speed on a zipline that gives you the best bird’s eye view of the beautiful landscape. Feel the breeze through your hair when you visit Hanuman World where you can complete a number of activities including a Sky Walk, Zipline, Jungle Roller Coaster, Abseiling and Honeymoon Swing. From these heights you will see the rainforest and some of Phuket’s famous beaches – this really is a great family day out for all.
Learn about some local fare at the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery – open daily between 11am and 6pm. The rum is made from Thai sugarcane, grown in the region, and offers tours where you can see how the Rum is made, and taste some of it for yourself in a number of tasty cocktails. The distillery is located in Chalong Bay and is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Learn about the culture and history of the region of Phuket through an incredible performance from the team at Siam Niramit Phuket. See some traditional dances, costumes and re-enactments that tell the tale of the region alongside mesmerising music and lights. This show is popular, so make sure you book in advance to secure your slot exploring Thai history.
While the weather in Thailand is usually pretty great, the region is known for having a few downpours, so plans for rainy days are a must – just in case. A great activity for a bad weather day is the Upside Down House – where both the house itself, and the insides are flipping upside down. Confuse your brain and get some of the best Instagram photos within the museum, and if the weather dries, why not try and tackle the outdoor maze?
If you are a fan of 007, a must-see attraction in Phuket is James Bond Island, or ‘Tapu’. The island itself is just off the Phuket coast and stands tall within the local bay. There are a number of attractions around the island including kayaking, canoeing and cave exploring – as well as boat trips. Bond fans will recognise the scene from the famous ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ film.
You can’t visit Thailand and not learn more about the delicious cuisine that comes from the region. Why not do this by visiting the Blue Elephant Cooking School – set in a stunning Sino Portuguese building within the old town of Phuket, the school offers full or half-day cooking classes that can be delivered privately or in a group setting. During your cooking class, you will learn about authentic Thai ingredients while you make traditional soups, noodles and rice dishes that will tantalise your tastebuds.
And last, but not least on our list is the Mai Khao Turtle Foundation which looks after another one of the region’s animals that needs protection. The foundation is based around Mai Khao beach – which is one of only a handful of beaches in the area that is home to nesting turtles. The foundation works to harvest eggs from dangerous areas that may be disrupted and looks after them until they hatch. Visitors to Phuket can volunteer their time to look after the animals and can visit the centre for free. You can also donate to keep the foundation’s work going, and you may even get a chance to release the young turtles back onto the beach and into the wild.